Released: 2009, Frontiers Records
At first glance, W.E.T. seems like a very strange name for a band, but it does make some sense. See, the band is comprised of members of Work of Art (Robert Sall – guitar), Eclipse (Erik Martensson – guitar) and Talisman (Jeff Scott Soto – vocals, also of Axel Rudi Pell, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Trans-Siberian Orchestra fame). That’s a ton of talent packed into one band, and when you factor in the guest leads contributed by Eclipse’s other guitarist Magnus Henriksson, the band really shines. So, we know the band has chops, but how is their music? Well, much like another band I reviewed this month, Outloud, W.E.T. has an affinity for ‘80s music. They differ though, in that their love is for ‘80s melodic rock – heavy enough to ensure some kick, but with a focus on beautiful melodies and sing-along choruses.
It’s well-known that Soto sang for a couple of years in Journey and he has likened W.E.T. to the album they might have made if he had stayed in the band. Well, he may be right, but he probably has more faith in the Journey guys than I do. Fact is, I highly doubt that Journey could come up with an album this good at this point in their career. W.E.T. is chock full of the commercial stadium ready rock that the biggest bands of the ‘80s were known for and the guys are obviously unashamed (nor should they be!). Also as you’d expect, there are three obligatory ballads, but on an album of twelve songs, that’s a pretty decent ratio. No shit, if this were 1988, “One Day At A Time” would be a chart-topping hit single.
Over the course of the other nine songs, the band cuts loose with some of the smoothest, catchiest melodic rock you’ll hear these days. Soto’s vocals have lost none of their power over the years and he continuously proves how good he is. Musically, the band is spot on, but I can’t help but feel that their talents are a little bit under-used in this kind of music. It’s not that the music isn’t good – in many places it’s great – but the album definitely does have a “heard it before” kind of vibe. Still, with songs as good as “One Love” and “Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is”, W.E.T. should have no problem entertaining anyone who has a soft spot for hard melodic rock.